We have been growing and breeding sweet peas here since 1989, and have exhibited at the RHS shows at Chelsea and Wisley. In 2005, we were delighted when our display of Heirloom sweet peas won us a coveted RHS Gold Medal. Normally, however, I am too busy to go to shows and rely on our websites to display our wares. I launched my first website in 1998, and a year later bought the domain name lathyrus.com. Since then it has grown to be the most comprehensive sweet pea site on the web.
Subsequently I launched lathyrus.info as a source of in depth articles and more technical information on sweet peas and other Lathyrus species, lathyrus-seed.com, selling cut flower sweet pea seed to commercial growers worldwide, and finally this site, sweetpea-seed.com, built round a secure e-commerce core. Of course, the real reason for having a multiplicity of websites is that it creates an excellent excuse for spending most of the winter in a warm, comfortable environment rather than doing real work out in the cold and the damp.
I am fortunate that Maggie, my partner of 26 years standing, has a strong artistic flair, and that I can commission designs for packet labels, bookmarks, catalogues and other promotional material. She has her own website based business, owlsacrestudio.com, where she sells her original paintings of sweet peas and other subjects, prints and greeting cards.
My latest venture is a tomato and chilli breeding program in partnership with Simon Crawford, Gourmet Genetics, which has already produced one of the finest flavoured cherry tomatoes available. In addition to an exciting range of cherry tomatoes, we are breeding a range of chillies bred for flavour rather than extreme pungency.